Jesus performed 37 miracles that are recorded in the NT. Of
course, John 21:25 states, “ And there are
also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I
suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books that would be
written.” So we don’t really know the full extent of the miracles that Jesus
performed, but these are the ones that God felt necessary to pass down to us
through inspired Scripture.
In the New Testament, the Greek word for miracle is dunamis
(δύναμι) which means “an act of power.” It is the
same word which is the origin of our English words dynamic and dynamite.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ
The miracles of Jesus can be divided into two main
categories: Nature Miracles and Healing Miracles. There are nine of the first
and 28 of the second.
Why did Jesus perform miracles?
They pointed to Him as the Messiah
In this passage in John 14:7-14 Phillip says,” Lord, show us
the Father.” Jesus answers that the words that He speaks prove that He and the
Father are one. But if they did not believe His words then He says in verse 11,
“Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me;
otherwise believe because of the works themselves.”
Notice that Jesus tells him that if he
cannot believe what He said then believe what He does. Both point to the same
thing: that Jesus is God, the Messiah. The first requires faith, the second
only your senses. Again, we see Jesus not asking us to believe something merely
because He says it. He asks us to believe something because He proves it.
John 10:37-38, “If I do not do the works of
My Father, do not believe Me; but if I do them, though
you do not believe Me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand
that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father.”
Here Jesus is setting up His miracles as a
litmus test. He is essentially saying, “If I don’t do miracles then don’t
believe what I say. But if I do miracles then believe who I say I am.”
many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which
are not written in this book; 31 but
these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the
Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.
Notice the progression here:
signs/miracles were recorded so that we may believe that Jesus is the Christ
believing we may have life in His name, i.e., that we might be saved
Many people call themselves god, but how many can actually
prove it? None but Jesus.
They attested to His deity
Whereas Jesus’ human attributes: hunger, pain, growing in
knowledge and stature point to Jesus’ humanity; His miracles point to His
When Paul requires the spirit of divination
to come out of the damsel, he asserts his order "in the name of Jesus Christ,"
thus attesting his own weakness, and the power of the Lord Jesus.
"Aeneas," says Peter, "Jesus
Christ heals you" (Acts 9:34). Here Peter in like manner attests at once
the Divinity of Jesus and his own subordination.
But Jesus acted in his own name and on his
own authority. He had but to say, "I will, be thou clean," and
immediately the cleansing followed. With authority and power he commanded the
unclean spirits and they obeyed him. The seventy came back to him saying,
"Lord, even the devils are subject to us through thy name." Well then
has it been said that "although miracles may be performed by mere men,
that is, through their instrumentality, and so cannot by themselves be proofs
of the Deity of those who, in this instrumental sense, performed them; yet as
the miracles of Christ were performed in his own name, by his undisputed word,
according to his will and for his glory, they plainly prove him to be
This is story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead.
In verses 25 and 26 we read, “Jesus said to
her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life; he who
believes in Me will live even if he dies, 26 and
everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?’
Then in verse 27 Martha responded, “She
said to Him, ‘Yes, Lord; I have believed that You are the Christ, the Son of
God, even He who comes into the world.’”
Notice the four things that Lazarus’
raising from the dead told Martha:
IS the resurrection. Not just that He can do it but that He is that. He is life-giver
and, indeed, life itself.
is the Christ, the Messiah prophesied in the OT
is the Son of God
wasn’t just born into the world; He CAME into the world. He came from somewhere
Then after Lazarus’ resurrection in verse 47 we read, “Therefore many of the Jews who came to Mary, and saw what He had
done, believed in Him.”
Notice that the people didn’t just believe,
but, more so, they believed “in Him.” This miracle didn’t just point to God
only with Jesus as a mere conduit. It pointed to Jesus Himself.
Yes, other prophets raised people from the
dead: Elijah raised the widow of Zarephath’s son, Elisha raised the Shunamite’s
son, Peter raised Tabitha, Paul raised Eutychus. These resurrections were all
to God’s glory and pointed only to God. Jesus raising Lazarus was also to God’s
glory but it pointed to Jesus.
In Acts 3 Peter and John came across a lame
beggar and in verse 6 we read, “But Peter said, ‘I do not possess silver and
gold, but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ the
In Acts 16 Paul was being annoyed by a
woman with a spirit of divination and verse 18 says, “She continued
doing this for many days. But Paul was greatly annoyed, and turned and said to
the spirit, ‘I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her!’ And
it came out at that very moment.”
Notice that in both instances Peter and Paul attribute these
miracles to Jesus and to His power.
But Jesus said things like, “I am willing; be cleansed”
(Matthew 8:3) and “I will come and heal him” (Matthew 8:5). Jesus attributed
the miracles to Himself.
In Matthew 14 right after feeding the 5,000 Jesus made the
disciples get into a boat and then a great storm arose. Jesus came out to them
walking on the waves. Then Peter came to Jesus walking on the water himself.
Finally we read in verses 32 and 33:
32 When they got into the
boat, the wind stopped. 33 And those
who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, “You are certainly God’s Son!”
We see here that the disciples did not just see Jesus as
another miracle worker. They didn’t say, “You are just like Elijah and Moses
both of whom controlled the sea.” No, they worshipped Him and this miracle
identifies Jesus as God’s Son.
To manifest God’s glory
As He passed by, He saw a man blind from
birth. 2 And His disciples asked Him,
“Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind?”
3 Jesus answered, “It
was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was
so that the works of God might be displayed in him.
So how was God glorified in healing the
It demonstrated God’s power.
This harkens back
to Exodus 4:11, “The Lord said to
him, ‘Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes him mute or deaf, or seeing
or blind? Is it not I, the Lord?’”
It demonstrated God’s compassion.
God, who oversees and holds together every atom, planet, and
galaxy in the universe cared enough about one man to stop and address his
It demonstrated God’s breaking through the darkness of sin to be a light
of truth and righteousness.
We see this in verse 5 when Jesus says, “While
I am in the world, I am the Light of the world.”
Jesus used this miracle of giving sight to a
blind man as an analogy of how He brings spiritual light into the world. We are
all spiritually blind because of sin. Jesus is the only One who can give us
They emphasized faith
Here is John 10:37-38 again, “If I do not do
the works of My Father, do not believe Me; but if I do
them, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, so that you may know and
understand that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father.”
Jesus’ miracles are there to increase our
In Luke 17:11-19 is the story of Jesus
healing the ten lepers. While they were all going to the priest as Jesus
commanded them to do, they all saw that they were healed but only one came back
to Jesus to glorify God. Notice in verses 18 and 19 what it says, “Then Jesus answered and said, “Were there not
ten cleansed? But the nine—where are they? 18 Was
no one found who returned to give glory to God, except this foreigner?” 19 And He said to him, “Stand
up and go; your faith has made you well.” Notice that Jesus does not say, “I
have made you well” or “God has healed you.” But, rather, “Your faith has made
In Luke 18:42 after Bartimaeus, a blind
beggar on the side of the road, received his sight we read, “And Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight;
your faith has made you well.”
I believe that this shows that we are to
participate with God in what happens in our lives. We are not just creatures
who are tossed about in life like a can floating the ocean. Nor are we statues
that stand there doing nothing with the only part moving is our lips in
prayer. God wants us to be involved. He wants us to have expectations. That’s
what this faith is all about. The faith did not do the healing; God did the
healing. Faith did not force God to heal; God does whatever He wants. He will
have mercy on whom He will have mercy and compassion on whom He will have
compassion (Romans 9:15). But faith worked with God to perform the healing.
Whatever we do in obedience to God, we do
not do apart from God. And however God uses us, it is not as passive chess
pieces, but as active participants. This is true in prayer, evangelism,
worship, Bible study, and anything else.
They emphasized God’s care and compassion for each one of us as individuals
If you look at Jesus’ miracles you see one common thread:
they are all centered on helping other people. He wasn’t into the big show.
I took my twin four-year daughters to a circus. At various
points the arena would go dark and a single spotlight shone on the ringmaster.
He was dressed in vibrant, flowing clothes with an extra-large hat. Using a
microphone his voice boomed as he called attention to himself and to the next
act. The performers then came on dancing and swirling, playing to the
audience. After each feat they would jump to their feet and raise their hands
into the air summoning applause. When they were done with their act they leaped
out of the ring. It was very entertaining.
But Jesus was different. We see this in Mark 10:51, “And
answering him, Jesus said, ‘What do you want Me to do for you?’ And the blind
man said to Him, ‘ Rabboni, I want to regain my sight!’”
Jesus did not stand on a box and wave His arms and shout, “Gather round and see
the miraculous. Someone first confirm that this man is really blind and dirty.
Now watch and be amazed!” Instead, He approached a filthy, rejected blind
beggar and quietly asked him, “What do you want Me to do for you?” Jesus’
miracles were not drama simply to wow the crowd; rather, they were always focused
on helping someone. His miracles impress us not so much because of their power
but rather because they reveal His heart. That He multiplied fish and bread is quite
amazing. But that He noticed that people were tired and hungry and needed to be
taken care of and then did something about it is what really draws us to Him. Jesus
did miracles because He cared. He cared about people then and He still has that
same heart towards us today.
Another story is in Mark 5.
This woman had suffered from a chronic bleeding that for
twelve years had made her unclean. If anyone touched her they would also be
unclean. Many people probably attributed her condition to sin in her life (see
John 9:2) and treated her poorly. She was a social outcast. Here, she tried to
sneak in and touch Jesus without drawing attention to herself knowing that if
people did recognize her they would chase her away.
Today we do not use Levitical Laws to shun people but have
created our own cruel list of reasons to ostracize others. This may include
someone with a deformity or who dresses poorly or who may have too large a
nose, ears, or weight. The result is someone who sneaks around the periphery of
But Jesus was not merely interested in healing this woman
physically; He also wanted to heal her fears. In Mark 5:34 we read where He
said to her, "Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be
freed from your suffering." Jesus sought her out and, this is important,
He called her “daughter” and told her to “go in peace.” This was probably the
first time in twelve years that anyone had drawn close to her, that anyone had
shown her even the least bit of care and compassion. Instead of being called a
terrible, hurtful name like everyone else, Jesus called her “daughter.” Imagine
the joy and peace that quickly filled her now healed body.
Jesus can take a social outcast and turn that person around.
This may not come instantly and may take much remolding but with confidence
from God’s acceptance (God sees the inward heart and not the outward appearance
– 1 Samuel 16:7) even the outcast can become more like Christ and draw others
And as we strive to bring more of our lives into Jesus we,
too, should reach out to someone who might be socially awkward and show them
A third example is in John 5 especially verse 8, “Then Jesus
said to him, ‘Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.’”
In John 5 there was a man who suffered from paralysis for 38
years and every time he thought that he might be healed someone else stepped in
front and stole away his hope. Then Jesus came and, in His mercy, healed him.
This man never gave up hope. He kept trying for 38 years. Had he been home
feeling sorry for himself he would never have met Jesus.
Whether our pain is emotional, physical, social, or
spiritual, Jesus can heal us. And Jesus can more than heal; He can restore.
This man may never have walked in his life and yet not only did Jesus heal his
paralysis but He enabled him to carry his pallet and walk without falling.
Jesus can do more than heal our crushing grief; He can give us joy. He can do
more than heal our social fears; He can teach us to be a great friend. Jesus can
do more than deliver us from Hell; He can make us a citizen of Heaven.
Foreshadow the power given to believers in the Church Age
Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes
in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than
these he will do; because I go to the Father.
But Peter said, “I do not
possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Jesus
Christ the Nazarene—walk!”
We cannot love any greater than Jesus did because His love
was totally unconditional but we can, by Jesus’ grace and strength, love as He
We cannot forgive any greater than Jesus did because He
forgave perfectly but we can, by Jesus’ grace and strength, forgive as He did.
But we can share the Gospel with a greater number of people
than Jesus did. We can provide comfort to more people than Jesus did. And we
can feed more people who are hunger than Jesus did when He walked on this Earth.
But to do these things, we need to step out of the boat and let Jesus use us.
Too often we are content to do only the little things and then stop there. We
pray for a few minutes a day but we do not pray without ceasing. We read the
Bible every once in a while, maybe even every day, but we do not absorb it. We
do not learn it inside and out. We come to church and sing the songs in the
beginning but do we worship while we sing those songs or are we just singing?
Jesus promises to us that we can do greater things, but then
do we let Him? Perhaps we need to do more than just make room for Jesus in our
schedule. Perhaps we each need to consider, “Where does God want to take me so
that I can fulfill Jesus’ promise in John 14:12?”
22 The scribes who came
down from Jerusalem were saying, “He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and “He casts
out the demons by the ruler of the demons.” 23 And
He called them to Himself and began speaking to them in parables, “How can Satan cast out Satan? 24 If
a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 If a house is divided against itself, that house
will not be able to stand. 26 If Satan
has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but [l]he is
finished! 27 But no one can enter the
strong man’s house and plunder his property unless he first binds the strong
man, and then he will plunder his house.
Here we see one of Jesus’ miracles being challenged by the
scribes and it is one of the few miracles where Jesus adds a second layer of
meaning to what happened. In one way Jesus is telling us how there is a great
battle between good and evil and that they cannot mix. The evil stays on its
side and good on its side. The Devil is not a mix of good and bad nor is Jesus
a mix of good and bad. The Devil is wholly evil and Jesus is perfectly good. We
should not confuse them. This echoes Isaiah 50:20, “Woe to those who call evil good,
and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who
substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!”
Then in verse 27 Jesus explains that the Devil is the strong
man. We are unable to defeat him on our own. This is similar to Luke 11:21-23
21 When a strong man,
fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are undisturbed. 22 But when someone stronger than he attacks him and
overpowers him, he takes away from him all his armor on which he had relied and
distributes his plunder. 23 He who is
not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me, scatters.
It takes someone stronger than the Devil to overcome him.
That someone can only be Jesus Christ. Just as it took a miracle to cast out a
demon so it will take the miracle of the Crucifixion and the Resurrection to
overcome the Devil. These miracles of exorcising demons foreshadows Jesus’
ultimate ministry of the Passion.
Finally let us look at one of Jesus’ miracles as recorded in Mark 5:35-43
He was still speaking, they came from the house of the synagogue
official, saying, “Your daughter has died; why trouble the Teacher anymore?”
36 But Jesus, overhearing
what was being spoken, said to the synagogue official, “Do
not be afraid any longer, only believe.” 37 And He allowed no one to accompany Him, except Peter and James and
John the brother of James. 38 They came to the house of the synagogue official; and He saw a
commotion, and people loudly weeping and wailing. 39 And entering in, He said
to them, “Why make a commotion and weep? The child has
not died, but is asleep.” 40 They began laughing at Him. But putting them all out, He
*took along the child’s father and mother and His own companions, and entered the
room where the child was. 41 Taking the child by the hand, He said to her, “Talitha kum!” (which translated means, “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”).
42 Immediately the
girl got up and began to walk, for she was twelve years old. And
immediately they were completely astounded. 43 And He gave them strict orders that no one should know about this,
and He said that something should be given her to eat.
Healing is one of God’s greatest times of intimacy. When God
heals someone, that person is not merely a character in a big show. He is not a
prop used to wow everyone and then left to go his way. Yes, many of Jesus’
healings were done publically, but if we examine them we see that His attention
was on the person and not on the crowd. He did not approach an invalid and wave
His arms and shout, “Come gather around and see what I am about to do.” Rather,
He asked, “What can I do for you?”
In this passage a 12-year old girl had died. When Jesus
arrived at the official’s house there was a commotion. There were relatives and
friends and, as in the tradition of the times, mourners hired to weep and wail.
But Jesus put them all out and only took with Himself the child’s father and
mother and His three companions. And in the silence of the room He took the
child’s hand and spoke and the child rose up alive.
If we examine this passage we can see that there were three
healings here: 1) the child’s death, 2) the grief and fear of the father and 3)
of the mother. And here in a small room in a dusty village Jesus healed all
three and allowed them to release all of their emotions, all of their joy, and
all of their praise in intimacy. It is the same today.
The miracles of Jesus demonstrated many things: that Jesus
is the Messiah, that He is God, that God is glorious, that our faith is
important, and that we, by the Holy Spirit, will even now be able to accomplish
much. Jesus’ miracles should not make us stand in awe from afar, but, rather,
should draw us closer to Jesus as we see who He really is. Just as He walked up
to people who were afraid and hurting, so He wants to walk up to us today and
do a miracle in our lives.